Is it possible that your little toes are not straight but bend down at their tips, causing them to touch the top of the next toe or curl under the foot? The condition can cause discomfort and pain when walking. It may also affect your balance if the bent-down toe gets in the way of other toes when you walk. Little toes bent down permanently is known as hammertoe Paramus and is more common in people who have had surgery on their feet or legs (such as hip replacement).
However, anyone can develop hammertoe if they wear shoes that don’t fit properly. If you are a victim of hammertoe, you must seek treatment because there is also the possibility that if left untreated, hammertoe may lead to other conditions, such as bunions or arthritis, later in life.
Below is what you need to learn about hammertoe;
What are the symptoms of hammertoe?
Hammertoe usually occurs in the second, third, or fourth toes. The symptoms of hammertoe include;
- Pain wearing shoes
- Swelling and inflammation at the base of the toe
- The affected toe is shorter than normal compared to other toes on that foot.
Hammertoe deformities often run in families, so you may have them if a family member does.
What causes hammertoe?
Wearing small-sized shoes: Hammertoe often develops after athletic activities such as running or walking without proper footwear and orthotics (shoe inserts). If you keep wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or don’t provide enough support for your feet, you may end up with a hammertoe.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis can cause painful joints in your toes and other body parts. Hammertoe may be one of the first signs that you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints and surrounding tissues.
Limited joint movement: Hammertoe develops when you have limited movement of the joints in your feet and toes. When you walk, the small muscles that straighten your joints need to be strong enough to keep your feet flat on the ground as you put weight on them during each step. If these muscles are weak, they may be unable to keep the joints in proper alignment during walking, leading to contractures. A contracture is when some part of your body becomes permanently shortened or fixed because of long-term use or misuse.
What is the best treatment for hammertoe?
The most common treatment is wearing wider shoes. This allows space for the hammertoe without causing pain. Sometimes custom-made shoes are made for people who have a hammertoe. These shoes look like ordinary shoes but have special insoles or padding at the toe area to prevent rubbing against other parts of the shoe or sock. Also, a hammertoe can be treated with surgery if it fails to respond to other treatments.
Finally, your doctor will examine your toe and discuss your options with you so that you can decide which treatment is best for you. To connect with a skilled physician today, contact DeLoor Podiatry Associates.